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Global weather watch-Ron and Sue Mortensen

05/26/2011 @ 4:04pm

This week reminds traders that many areas of the world bear watching.  Weather is becoming a crucial issue for many wheat crops, as well as smaller crops like barley and rapeseed.  

Weather in Canada (cold, wet), weather in Europe (hot, dry in the central and northern areas) and weather in Russia (also a little dry in some spring wheat areas) combine to make traders realize that other crops are under less than ideal conditions.  Several analysts have dialed down the French and German wheat crops, for example.  Does the world wheat crop rebound adequately to meet demand?  

If the rest of the world has weather issues, then the US weather issues become even more important.  If the rest of the world suffers crop losses, then the US will become a more important source of grains and oilseeds to foreign buyers.  The US wheat crop last year was vitally important given the drought in the Former Soviet Union (Russia, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine).  

 In the US, it certainly appears the worst of the rain is past.  The weather forecast looks better, but still not perfect, as showers intrude on the eastern Corn Belt and the spring wheat areas in the Dakotas and Montana.  However, there would seem to be opportunities to plant before the crop insurance prevented plantings dates (June 5th for corn in Indiana and Ohio).  

The strong cash markets continue in many areas of the Corn Belt, as commercials and end-users attempt to buy physical supplies in order to be covered until new crop harvest.  Delayed plantings and floods in the Delta and southern areas have people questioning how early new crop supplies will be available to the market.  


The risk of loss in trading commodities can be substantial.  You should therefore carefully consider whether such trading is suitable for you in light of your financial situation.


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